Summary: Too often we have a tendency to lose hope. We fight battles with each other or face tremendous trials and we just cannot seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel
The History of Our Hope”
SCRIPTURE: Luke 24:44
“Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”
INTRODUCTION: Advent is the season of preparation. It is marked by candle lights, wreaths and ornaments that remind us to go into the Christmas holiday excited about what God has done and is going to do.
Today is the day we begin our preparation for the coming of Christ. This is the first Sunday in Advent, the Sunday of HOPE.
This is the week where we express the hope we have in knowing that Christ will come again.
To do that we set this Sunday in advent aside to discuss the events leading up to Christ’s first coming.
QUOTE: One of my professors, Dr. Powers, always tells us, “You cannot preach Christ’s second coming until you have successfully preached His first coming”
More than simply discussing the manger, the Virgin Mary or the wise men (which are all significant) this week we are going to step into a time when God was laying out His plan before prophets. Not days and months before the birth of Christ, but centuries prior to the blessed event.
I. We begin by stepping back about six hundred years before Christ to the time of Isaiah
Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
a. This verse has been a point of contention for many scholars
i. They say that this verse doesn’t point to Christ, because the Hebrew word for virgin in this verse is “almah” which means a young maiden of marriageable age
ii. Some people argue that this word does not necessarily mean a virgin
iii. It is important to note, however, that Strong’s Concordance writes in the definition of this Hebrew word a caption: “There is no instance where it can be proved that this word designates a young woman who is not a virgin.”
o What that basically means is that whenever this word is used in scripture it is referring to a virgin
o Yet some scholars contend that either Jesus was not born of a virgin, or that this verse does not refer to Jesus at all
b. But let’s break the verse down and see what it really means:
c. FIRST: The verse boasts that God will give a ‘sign’
i. A young woman conceiving naturally and having a child is not much of a sign; This happens everyday
ii. But if a virgin would conceive and bring forth a child, the conception would then step into the realm of a divine movement of God
iii. The New Testament even goes as far as confirming the virgin birth, and the true meaning of this verse:
o Matthew 1:22-23 “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
iv. The Greek word in the New Testament for virgin is “Parthenos”, which means virgin!
v. Virgin is what Isaiah meant, virgin is what Matthew meant, virgin is what Mary was, and Jesus’ miraculous birth was clearly foretold in this passage
d. SECOND: The verse also say that He will be called “Immanuel” which means “God with us”
i. There have been many characters in history that thought themselves to be gods, but only one God-Man; Jesus Christ
o John 1:1,2,14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
ii. Jesus was God in the flesh, the eternal who made himself to be lower than the angels to come and fellowship with His creation
iii. This verse in John is a fulfillment of the prophecy from Isaiah – Isaiah prophesied that the one born of the virgin would be called “God” and John, under the inspiration of the Spirit, called Jesus “God”
Isaiah spoke at great lengths about the coming Savior, but He was
not the only prophet to bring the “Good News” a little early
II. Many years before Isaiah, God spoke through Moses and gave Israel the hope of a Savior
Deuteronomy 18:18,19 The Lord said to Moses, “I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.”